Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Recurring theme, similar decisions

Missed this bit in a previous entry. So I met a compatriot and in our dinner conversation, we somehow drifted to the topic of our (lack of) SOs.

He: "Will you give up a place (at HYP) for a girl who wants to stay put in Singapore?"

One question, and I knew his answer story immediately. I just smiled, and we continued to sip wine from our glasses.


Same question, posed to two (Singaporean) girls separately to ask for their views:

A: No? Like you didn't give up grad school for your (ex)-gf. The same reasoning sticks..I wouldn't give up grad school for a guy.


B: no i wont give up the place at (HYP). I will give up the girl, and if i were the girl, i wldnt move to (HYP) either. I'd want my own career.

Me: Rational decision, as I would have expected of you. :)

B: yah. i mean, unless im a girl who wants to stay at home and spit out kids. i wldnt mind moving, but if i want my own career, i wldnt do it. Not unless i can find a good job, and if im a boy not intending to get married immed, i wldnt give up the sch. if our relationship is strong enough, it'll last the distance. If it doesn't, then it's not strong enough!


Two Singaporean guys kaopehing about lack of gfs, when they both gave them up for grad school.

Edit (28 June) - My earlier comments at Kevin's blog:

takchek Says:
June 15th, 2006 at 10:15 am

Two girlfriends and many failed ones thereafter, I have come to the conclusion one shouldn’t date and go steady when he’s still unsettled.


1. Decide on what you want to do and where you want to stay.
2. Once your life settles down to a routine, then go pak-torring.
3. Marriage comes naturally and with no LDR woes.


There is always a price to pay for the school.


Kevin said...

I find that it's always easier to stay put than to make drastic changes such as moving back. I've personally witnessed someone I know about to get married, but gave up eventually after the girl wanted to continue pursuing further studies. Like you said on my blog before, settle everything you need, then settle the relationship. Problem is, by then, there could be no more lasting relationships anymore.

I'm trying to make ends meet on my side, wish me luck too!

L'oiseau rebelle said...

In my case:

"I don't think I want to go to grad school anymore. You applied to Colorado right, and do you want to go there? Colorado is really nice and I sure would like to live there."

"Ok, in that case CU will be my top choice. Tell you what, I'll go visit the school and unless everyone in the department hate each other, we'll go there."

Thank goodness his top choice is not in the middle of nowhere, or in some grimy gritty city,

ted said...

You know, your musings about such issues are only shared by a very minute and very select group of people in Singapore who have the ability and luxury to continue post-graduate studies overseas.

I do sympathise with your situation and those who shares it. An unfortunate manisfestation of globalisation's effect on the denizens of Singapore perhaps.

Best of luck with your search!

Peishan said...

that header pic... it's my school, isnt it??

Melvin Leok said...

The two-body problem is certainly quite prevalent in academia, and almost invariably, such academic couples either end up maintaining two households, or accepting suboptimal positions.

I think that as with all multi-objective optimization problems, it depends on how you prioritize the relative importance of the prestige of the school as opposed to the relationship.

A more fundamental issue is whether you would feel resentful having to make such a compromise, and whether that would eventually poison the relationship.

In my case, I knew that returning to Singapore to pursue a faculty position would be an unacceptable constraint, and at that point, I stopped dating Singaporean women.

takchek said...

peishan - You are right. :)

Melvin - Yes it is a tradeoff. But I am still hoping to be able to find that "Singaporean" (or at least someone who is intimately familiar with my cultural background) girl. Unfortunately (it seems I am not the only one, judging from anecdotal accounts of my Singaporean peers at fellow top schools ie Stanford, Yale Cambridge, Tech etc) such women are very rare, if they exist.

Any wonder why we are all still single?